Guest post by Aby League
Celebrating the holidays is more fun with decorations that add sparkle and glamour to the party. But as we celebrate merrily, the Earth suffers from more than 25% of household waste accumulated from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. The holidays make us waste more by using gift wrappers, plastic shopping bags, and disposable holiday decorations. Typical holiday decorations are often made with plastics which are environmentally unfriendly. Trying to use environmentally conscious decorations is a great way to minimize your waste this holiday season.
Rethink The Tree
Christmas trees are a big part for most people when celebrating Christmas. Christmas feels incomplete without the presence of a live Christmas tree and its crisp pine scent. In North America alone, about 33 million live Christmas trees get sold every year. Instead of wasting it by getting it cut down, try to look for alternative Christmas trees such as renting a living tree, donating old ones to be replanted or by purchasing artificial trees. For one, you can buy potted rosemary repurposed as a tree. It’s a great alternative because it can double as an herb to add flavor to your favorite holiday meals. Or enjoy the idea of minimalism without using the real version of the holiday symbolism. A couple of alternatives to try are recycled cardboard tree, aluminum tree, or by replacing a live tree with a bamboo plant. Since bamboo is considered to be the fastest growing plant on earth, it’s more environmentally friendly than the usual Christmas trees.
‘Eco-Paint’ Christmas On Your Walls
Repainting is one of the most common renovations during pre-holidays because it’s the easiest and cheapest way to redecorate. If you’re looking to spruce up your home this holiday season, look for eco-paint or natural paint. Picking up a paintbrush to jazz up old furniture can lead to so many pitfalls–from short-term effects, such as dizziness, nausea, and headaches, to long-term effects such as lung cancer, kidney problems, and death from heart failure or asphyxiation. Eco-paints contain very low levels of volatile organic compounds compared to conventional paints that’s why it’s much easier to paint and breathe inside your home without having to resist conventional paint’s foul smell.
Save On Energy With LEDs
Replace your usual holiday lights with LED ones to save much more and without the worry for burnt lights. Using Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFL) can save you 66% more energy than incandescent light bulbs and will save 400 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions for trading 1 incandescent bulb for 1 CFL bulb. Switching from CFL to LED can save much more energy and money. LEDs are considered to be the future of lighting as it lasts 2 to 4 times longer than CFL and can withstand extreme temperatures and do not contain toxic mercury. While the cost of LED light is much higher than CFL and incandescent light bulbs, its overall cost for 50,000 hours of light is much cheaper.
You can also go for LED candles than messy wax candles which can be dangerous, especially around kids, pets, or clumsy relatives. LED candles use batteries so it’s safer for your lungs and you’ll still be able to get that calming ambiance without having to worry about the smoke and mess of the spilling wax.
Reuse Materials For This Year’s Decor
Use leftover decorations from last Christmas and make new decorations for this year. Some of the decorations that you can make are wreaths and garlands that are entirely made of scraps. You can start-off by using old ribbons, cardboard, felt, burlap, and twine to your very own design. You can also garnish your table that screams the festivities with an easy-to-do topiary ball made of pistachios.
Smell The Holidays All Year Long
You can have the look and feel of the holidays without having to buy different holiday decorations that will be used only once a year. Instead of using air purifiers and aerosol sprays, go for natural scents that remind you of the holidays. This Christmas, make use of dried oranges, pine cone, and cinnamon sticks, and hang them to your alternative tree and take pleasure in its irresistible Christmas scent. Improve and purify the air around the house by growing house plants and evergreen herbs that can be handy around the kitchen. Herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and sage produce equally wonderful fragrance and can be used all year long for holiday recipes.
Skip The Paper
Christmas calls for thousands of paper and plastic bags being thrown into landfills every year and lots are splurging over new wrapping paper for every gift given. This year, try to get creative instead of splurging. You can invest on reusable cloth bags or make use of old newspapers, magazines, or leftover paper. You can also give gifts that don’t call out for too much packaging such as gift certificates and concert tickets.
Try recycling old and stocked paper cards you received last year and reduce your family’s use of virgin paper for the annual Christmas card. Aside from using recycled paper, you can also go digital by sending out electronic greeting cards to your loved ones.
When looking for resources for doing crafts and decorations, bear in mind to always choose reusable supplies than the disposable ones. Don’t waste resources by using paper plates, paper napkins, and plastic spoon and forks. Instead, invest on glassware, dishes, and cloth napkins that can be used every year. Holidays don’t have to be junk-filled days. Be more environmentally conscious not just during the holiday season but throughout the year.
About the Author:
Aby League is a qualitative researcher and a passionate writer. She is an innovator and technology enthusiast. She has been writing about health, psychology, home improvement and technology. You can see more of her articles on Elite Daily. To know her more, follow her on Twitter.
What have you done to make your Christmas celebrations greener?
Share your tips and suggestions for eco-friendly holiday decorations.